by Duffey Communications
As you read this, you may or may not be aware that as an ESA member, you have a public relations firm advocating on your industry’s behalf to media, consumers and businesses. If we haven’t had an opportunity to meet you yet, our name is Duffey Communications, and we are working to further your industry.
How are we doing that? We are so glad you asked.
Public relations may win the award for the most misunderstood profession, so we are excited to share with you some of the tactics and activities we are using to elevate ESA and its members.
Let’s start with what public relations is and why it is important. Public relations is often confused with advertising. What’s the difference? Public relations focuses on building trust and earning positive publicity by sharing what is important about an industry, issue or topic.
Advertising on the other hand is a paid, guaranteed placement where you tell the newspaper, TV station, radio show, blog, etc. exactly what to say. As Jean-Louis Gassée explains, “Advertising is saying you're good. PR is getting someone else to say you're good.”
Like any other profession, public relations is ripe with buzz words and jargon. But at the core, we are story tellers. We are weaving together a collage of news stories to create a better understanding of the industry among the media, consumers and businesses. From innovative smart security technologies that help home and business owners detect potential criminal activity before it happens, advanced video surveillance that is helping to identify and apprehend criminals, to workforce development initiatives, not a day goes by when someone’s life is not enhanced by an ESA member.
It’s our job to make sure these stories are translated into newsworthy content and circulated to consumers and businesses through both traditional and social media.
We are also here to make sure that factual information is being presented by the media. People typically act based upon their perception of facts, and we want to make sure the media is not putting forth misinformation.
But our job is not simply to speak with reporters and explain the various ways a person or business can better detect and deter criminal activity, it is also to support ESA’s overall public relations objectives, which include:
- Elevating ESA and its members – building awareness and credibility;
- Educating consumers in both the residential and commercial space building a strong affinity for ESA members; and
- Positioning ESA and its members as a first-line media resource for industry-related issues at the local, state and/or national levels.
Since partnering with ESA, we have engaged in a wide variety of activities, including media outreach to begin building ESA’s media presence through consumer education. We have also worked with ESA leadership during a comprehensive planning process that included:
- Discovery interviews with members to identify newsworthy media angles for consumer and business media
- Media spokesperson identification
- Media coaching via webinar sessions
- Identification and development of talking points for sensitive issues that may arise through media relations outreach
- Development of an online press kit
- Development of a PR resource kit for ESA members
- Identification of opportunities to increase social media presence for Alarm.org
- Aggregating stories about how members are “Making a Difference” for Alarm.org
- Identification and development of content for thought leadership positioning
- Development and pitching of consumer press releases
There are many ways you can help us further our public relations outreach. This includes participating in member surveys – and forwarding “good news” stories that can be used on Alarm.org to continue to show how the industry is making a difference in communities throughout the country.
We have a lot items in play, so be sure to check your emails and keep your phone on, because we may just be messaging, calling, or even introducing ourselves to you at ESX in June.